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JIM: Henry Giles first Spout Springs Column - 5 Jun 1957

It was sixty years ago June 5 that the wonderful column, "Spout Springs Splashes," began. It tells of the transition (from urban life in an upstairs apartment on E Guardian Street in Columbia) back to Spout Springs, KY. Of that move, Henry Giles said: 'Can't recall a rougher day spent during some over five years in the Army Engineers.' Slightly edited, that first column appears below.
Click on headline for complete column
Related story: Joe Spires: by himself an entire Spout Springs school reunion

By Jim

The June 5, 1957 edition of the Adair County News carried Henry Giles' first "Spout Springs Splashes" column. An introductory piece on the front page stated the writings would "deal in homespun philosophy and such things as come to the writer's mind" and noted that Mr. & Mrs Giles had removed from Columbia to the Knifley country just a week earlier.

The author, with a bit of self-effacing humor, added a second headline to his musings, referring to them collectively as "The most Inadequate and Unnecessary Column ever Published."

In that first column, Mr. Giles spoke of the agonies involved in selecting just the right title and of what gems the reader might expect to find in future columns; expounded with the fervor of the newly redeemed regarding the physics of moving; oriented himself as to which neighbors and kinsmen lived where in relation to the front porch of the Giles' new homestead; issued an open invitation to come sit a spell; and let slip a tantalizing glimpse of a forthcoming "best seller in modern literature."

Wrote he:

Spout Springs Splashes

After searching for sabadilla through syzygy for something to hang onto Spout Springs, I have finally settled for what is the most "essy" column head ever printed: an essy means (sic) if there ever was one: "Spout Springs Splashes." Ugh! However, Spout Springs has to be part of the name for this, and if someone could suggest another word to go with it, it would be an improvement over "splashes" I think.

In accordance with an agreement with your editor, these lines, in future issues, will bring you a little bit of everything and whole lot of not much of anything. There'll be something of what goes on around here, thrown in with snatches of philosophy and brilliant essays on Modern Man (and Woman) and what should be done about them; trends in tensions and signs of our times will also be thrashed out every now and then.

Bits of useful information will be sneaked in occasionally, such as the candle-power of the brightest United States lighthouse; the gross words, total errors, and net words typed in 15 minutes in New York by Hortense Stollinitz; or where, when, and by whom was rayon acetate invented. Opinions vary but some quarters believe this column will cover ground, once, and if, said column gets off the ground. . .

We took up squatter's rights here in Spout Springs Hollow on May 29, after the most trying day ever experienced by anyone: moving from one place to another. Three of us, Joe Spires, C.R. Sherill, and myself loaded on and off a truck everything from a 10 ton piano down to what felt like a two ton rug. In fact everything seemed to gain weight as the day progressed. Can't recall a rougher day spent during some over five years in the Army Engineers.

Spout Springs Hollow (not to be confused with another well known Ky. Hollow -- "W" I believe he calls it) is located about two miles around the hills from Neatsburg. Sitting on the front porch, to my left front lives Z.T. Watson; right front is Ancil Spires, Dallas Knifley, and Rondel Spires. To the left is a cousin, Edgar Giles, and back up the hollow, William Spires. Uncle Lee Giles lives in the school house.

Henry Giles is the name on the mailbox, so any time you may be over in our part of Green River, drop in. However, when you decide to stop by for a while, try to make it in the afternoon. I'm working mornings on what may be a best seller in modern literature in the early sixties. Guess it shouldn't be reviewed this week, even though it is already started--Chapter One, it says.

This story was posted on 2017-07-17 05:30:05
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